We live in a world awash with ego. We see it every day. We can see the ego of our boss, and how it has turned the office against them. We can see ego in politicians and professional athletes. We can see it in our kid’s teacher, perhaps, when they get in some pissing match with another parent or are threatened by a precious student. As they get older, we can even see ego in our own kids—thinking they can ace a test without studying or advance in sports without practicing.
The laundry list of out of control egos is easy to write. But it’s interesting to think that putting it together may in fact be our own ego distracting us from ourselves. Because by focusing on the problems other people’s egos are causing we excuse ourselves from looking in the mirror at our own.
Today and every day, dads should take a moment to just think about where ego is holding them back. Is the power struggle with your teenager actually over anything important, or is this just you demanding to be in control? “You can’t learn that which you think you already know,” Epictetus once said.
Well, what things are you holding yourself back from learning because you’re a know-it-all? The pissing contest you got into with a teacher? The pissing contest you’re still in with your dad? The hours you work, the money you spend, the car you drive—is there ego tied up in any of these? Any chance it’s warping your priorities? Any chance it’s getting you into trouble?
You know it. So stop thinking about other people and work on yourself.